PhD Education: where left and right brains meet?

Skitmore, Martin (1996) PhD Education: where left and right brains meet? The Australian Institute of Building Papers, 1, pp. 59-64.

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Why is it sometimes so difficult to 'settle' into researching, writing, even thinking about certain problems? Why is it so difficult to keep up concentration over long periods without the need for frequent breaks for diversions such as coffee, walks, light conversations, watching television? Why, even when highly motivated to higher degree research, do students find some part of their mind refusing to cooperate? Split brain research suggests that this other part of the mind may be the highly creative and yet inarticulate right hemisphere of the brain cortex sending out cries for attention.

This paper introduces the split brain phenomenon and examines the implications in the form of the authors personal experiences in both undertaking and supervising higher degree research. Two major and related facts are examined. Firstly that, undue emphasis placed on left brain 'thinking' inhibits right brain creativity. Secondly, that the brain is most productive when its two halves are working in harmony. From this, it is argued that the current education of research students is overly concerned with left brain functions and, as a result, the development of both right brain creativity and left brain thinking is inhibited.

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ID Code: 4440
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Access to the author-version is currently restricted pending permission from the publisher. For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see link) or contact the author. Author contact details:
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Keywords: PhD education, split, brain research, creativity
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > BUILDING (120200) > Quantity Surveying (120203)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > BUILDING (120200) > Building Construction Management and Project Planning (120201)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1996 Australian Institute of Building
Deposited On: 09 Jun 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:32

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